Oliver Laurence North is a former United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel, political commentator, television host, military historian, and New York Times best-selling author. North was at the center of national attention during the Iran–Contra affair, a political scandal of the late 1980s. North was a National Security Council staff member involved in the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran, which served to encourage the release of U.S. hostages from Lebanon. North formulated the second part of the plan: diverting proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua. He is currently the host of War Stories with Oliver North on Fox News Channel.